Potbellied Pigs... and Husbands

a radio commentary broadcast on Jefferson Public Radio's The Jefferson Daily
Tuesday, August 12, 1997
(c)1997 by Fred Flaxman

HOST: Commentator Fred Flaxman was looking though classified advertisements in a local paper not long ago trying to find some inexpensive, used metal file cabinets for his office. He didn't find any, but he did notice an ad for potbellied pigs.

FLAXMAN: I called the lady who was selling them (only $25 each), reserved two, and told her I would come to pick them up when my wife returned with the car. When she came back and I told her what I was about to do, she had a fit! She said I didn't know anything about potbellied pigs and that I was like a child, acting on impulse!

Imagine that! Acting on impulse! Who? Me?

You don't see potbellied pigs for sale for $25 each every day! And the lady had sold all but two -- both males -- by the time I called. I simply had to act fast. This was an emergency. My wife had to be convinced right away. There wasn't time to go to the library. So I got on the Internet, picked a search engine, typed in "potbellied pigs," and was amazed at how much information came my way in a matter of seconds.

Particularly useful were the Potbellied Pig Directory and the Official Bacon Links. But there was a home page for Miss Piggy, Pig Resources, Piggy Pictures (including one of Hamlet), a Bacon & Eggs Home Page, one for the National Committee on Potbellied Pigs, and another for the North American Potbellied Pig Association! (One has yet to be created for the North American Potbellied Husbands Association, for which I am rapidly qualifying as president and chairman of the board. Their motto: "Potbellied husbands make great pets.")

I learned that miniature potbellied pigs were introduced to the U.S. as pets around 1985. Since that time the miniature potbellied pig has achieved an ever-growing popularity among pet owners through its general cleanliness, intelligence, and unique appearance.

However, the potbellied pig's "unique appearance" was described elsewhere on the Internet as "the ugliest dog ever seen." That same, apparently honest document goes on to say that "pigs aren't soft or cuddly to touch either; they have spiky hair covering their body." The males grow tusks which need to be snipped off to avoid injury. And their canine teeth should be removed around four months to avoid punctures. I also learned that adult male pigs can be very aggressive and that they develop a foul smell.

Somehow, none of this information helped convince my wife that I should go to pick up the two potbellied pigs. She liked the idea even less when she learned that these creatures can live as long as 20 years.

So I called a teenager who raises and sells rabbits, and placed an order for a couple. They cost only five dollars each, and my wife, feeling somewhat guilty about denying my desire to have potbellied pigs, gave her reluctant approval.

If and when you're in the market for bunnies, you now know who to call.

This is Fred Flaxman.

HOST: Commentator Fred Flaxman is a writer and editor who lives in the Griffin Creek area of Jackson County.